The "Dancing With the Stars" 2013 premiere arrives on Monday, Sept. 16, with the latest "DWTS" season 17 cast lineup ready to start dancing. Tonight's first episode of the new season on ABC gets started at 8 p.m. EST, with personalities Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet resuming their duties as hosts of the show. Also, Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Toniolo will appear as the three judges scoring the contestants.
A Sept. 15 article via USA Today gives bios, backgrounds and quotes for the various contestants making up the season 17 lineup. They'll include actor/comedian Bill Engval (56), Bill Nye aka "The Science Guy (57)," and actress Valerie Harper (74), the three elder contestants. At least two are also sentimental/fan favorites. The youngest contestants will include 24-year-old Corbin Blue ("High School Musical"), 27-year-old Jack Osbourne of reality TV fame, 27-year-old Amber Riley ("Glee"), and 25-year-old Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of "Jersey Shore" fame.
Former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson (41), actress Elizabeth Berkley (41), and actress/TV personality Lea Remini (43) would have to be considered the "middle of the pack" when it comes to contestant age. However, at least two seem like they may have some sort of advantage in the competition. Football players have fared well in the past seasons, while Berkley has danced a bit during her time on "Saved By the Bell" and "Showgirls." Of course dancing on a strip club pole in film, or as part of a high school pep rally on TV don't exactly qualify as ballroom dancing. Neither does a celebratory touchdown dance.
When it comes to the most experienced in this competition, none of the stars are being so bold as to admit they have what it takes to win in terms of the type of dance style. For example, Milian, who has starred in her own music videos and on stage performances, said, "When you dance for a music video you use moves from a basic hip-hop class. It's definitely not ballroom. It's all new for my body. I have to reset my mind."
The oldest contestant in the lineup, Valerie Harper, has admitted she would like to make it through her first dance without falling like a "klutz." Harper said of her reasons for competing in "DWTS" season 17:
"I used to be a dancer, 50 years ago on Broadway, but I haven't danced in decades. It would be like starting over. And I've had weight gain and I thought, 'Oh, do I want to get up there with those girls in those cute little costumes? What am I doing at 74?' And my husband (Tony Caciotti) said, 'Because you have cancer, that's why. Because you have it and because it has not stopped you and because your doctors say it's fine.' So why can't I dance around with handsome Tristan MacManus?"
Listed below are the "DWTS" season 17 celebrity and pro dancer pairings:
- Elizabeth Berkley & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
- Corbien Bleu & Karina Smirnoff
- Brant Daugherty & Peta Murgatroyd
- Bill Engvall & Emma Slater
- Valerie Harper & Tristan MacManus
- Keyshawn Johnson & Sharna Burgess
- Christina Milian & Mark Ballas
- Bill Nye & Tyne Stecklein
- Jack Osbourne & Cheryl Burke
- Leah Remini & Tony Dovolani
- Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi & Sasha Farber
- Amber Riley & Derek Hough
It's really anyone's game, or contest, or competition, when it comes to "Dancing With the Stars." In the past, fans have voted based on their feelings towards certain celebrities, including Bristol Palin and reality star Kate Gosselin. It's unknown if that will factor into the seventeenth season, but it's certainly a diverse set of dancing stars featured on the dance floor for the latest edition.
Which of the pairs do you think will win the "Dancing With the Stars" season 17 competition?